MOHAMMED ZAFRAN, BCAc
Mohammed – or Zaf as he is better known – of Stechford, has dedicated his life to voluntarily helping others in his community, young and old, despite his family being struck by tragedy twice in two years. In 2009, Zaf’s 30-year-old blind sister died after a battle with cancer and it was this that spurred him on to start to fundraise for charity.
A year later, Zaf’s 24-year-old brother-in-law died after being stabbed in the head with a screwdriver in a local park. Whilst many people would have wanted revenge, Zaf’s reaction was to reach out to youths involved in the local gang culture by going out at night and engaging with them. Zaf won the trust of many of these young people and eventually established his own Community Interest Company called All 4 Youth and Community.
Through the group, he offers free sport activities and community events. He has managed to sign up more than 16,000 youths in his academy across more than 100 projects, with 300 volunteers stepping forward to help his cause.
All this has been achieved with just £2,500 of funding. Zaf received help from South and City College principle, Mike Hopkins, who allowed him use of the college facilities without any cost at all. In addition to the sports and community events, two years ago Zaf opened a women’s academy to help prevent young Muslim women from being forced to quit their education and enter into arranged marriages. So far, about 2,000 women have signed up to the academy.
Nominated by Waseem Zaffar MBE